Balancing the productivity of focus and the excitement of unfocus

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I have a problem. I find it extraordinarily difficult to be focused.

The delight and enticement of all the possibilities of a rapidly evolving world are irresistible to me.

Pushing back at the startup mantra of focus

Having spent many years ensconced in startup communities I have heard over and over again the mantra of Focus Focus Focus.
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5 steps to accelerating trust development

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Arguably trust is today more than ever at the heart of value creation in the economy. The development of trusting, high-value business relationships is not an accident, it can be done purposefully. Below is a still highly-relevant excerpt from Chapter 4 of my book Living Networks describing how to do this.

Accelerating trust development

Participating in the network economy requires very actively developing new and existing relationships with customers, suppliers, and partners. As you saw earlier in this chapter, companies’ external relationships are becoming both deeper and broader. Some firms do whatever seems right each time they take on a new customer, supplier, or alliance partner. Others have careful and detailed processes for building closer relationships that benefit both parties. IBM spends almost $1 billion on its alliance program for software developers, getting its return through the generation of over $4 billion in additional sales. It has a formal 40-step process that executives must go through with potential partners before signing an alliance agreement, including examining the fit with IBM, and getting a senior IBM executive to agree to act as an internal sponsor for the alliance.
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How platforms and automation are disrupting business

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Below is one of the short video interviews I did after my keynote on Business in the Age of AI at Oracle CloudWorld.

In it explain in brief my Vectors of Disruption framework and explain how automation and platforms are the primary aggregated forces disrupting business, society and government.


Below is a transcript of the video.
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The state of futures and foresight tertiary education globally

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After researching government agencies that use foresight as well as futurist associations, Ross Dawson and I have compiled a list of all the known university programs focused on strategic foresight and futures studies. Although we may have missed some courses that feature a class or two related to futures and foresight, we believe we have a comprehensive list of all the accredited tertiary futures and foresight degrees and diplomas that are active for 2018 plus a few short courses.

The list covers:

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The massive opportunity to convert data explosion into business value and rapid innovation

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I was recently interviewed for an article How we will learn to love big data for ICAS that explores the capabilities required to convert the extraordinary potential of data profusion into true business value.

The article was written for an accounting audience, however the issues are relevant to all professionals.

Indeed every company needs to find and develop professionals who can turn massive data into value, better decisions, and enhanced innovation, in particular by applying lean start-up thinking and methodologies to every aspect of the business.

Below are some excerpted quotes from the full article:
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The past and current state of futurist associations around the world

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Recently, I wrote about the work that Ross Dawson and I have done researching government agencies/ projects around the world that use futures and foresight methods. We have also researched the many futurist associations around the world and have developed a list of associations that:

  1. Are specifically focused on futures and foresight methods
  2. Have a reasonable number of members
  3. Are formally organized
  4. Are currently active

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The Value of Collaboration: Improving Innovation in University-Business Relationships

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This paper was originally published in Academic Leadership Series: Improving Innovation and Collaboration Between Industry and Business Schools, based on a keynote by Ross Dawson at CA ANZ Thought Leadership Forum.

Introduction

What is the value of academic–business collaboration? The current landscape suggests that there is much potential value that is not being realised, which begs the question, what is possible? What value can be created through utilising the wealth of resources we have in the academic–business sector, for the benefit of the business community and society more broadly?
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Re-envisaging the organization in a rapidly changing world

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I recently gave a keynote on Business in the Age of AI at Oracle CloudWorld.

After my keynote I was interviewed about some of the key messages in my keynote. Here is one of the short videos created.

Below is a transcript of my comments in the video.
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The only good reason to speak is to change people

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I have been a professional speaker for over 18 years, alongside the various entrepreneurial endeavors that have kept me busy over the last couple of decades.

It is a great privilege. Speaking is a truly wonderful way to make a living. I get to travel all around the world, having done paid speaking engagements in 30 countries so far. I learn in every engagement, in preparing to do the best job possible each time and by being exposed to a wonderful diversity of people, organizations, and industries. And I love the performance of professional speaking, stemming from my younger days as a musician.

However speaking must be done with purpose.
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An overview of futures and foresight in government agencies around the world

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In 2014 Sweden made headlines as the first nation to appoint a Minister for the Future, Kristina Persson. Unfortunately, her role only lasted for a year and a half. Sweden’s experience with long-term planning at such a high level is common. Many governments spend a few months to a year thinking about the long-term future before taking a break.

The context for foresight in government

For governments to plan for the long-term future, they must first sustain their efforts at long-term thinking. Long-term thinking actually has a history of at least 100 years in national governance. In fact, an entire field has built up in that time devoted to helping organizations, both public and private, to forecast, plan, and prepare for the future.
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